Jeremy Houghton

Senior Instructor + Department Chair,  College of Culinary Arts

Contact Information
If I had to sum up my philosophy in a sentence, it would be to show students the passion I have for food service field by lessons, lectures, demonstrations, and respect for our business.“


The Merriam-Webster definition of teaching is “to cause or help someone to learn about a subject by giving lessons.” (Teach, n.d.)

I look at my past, and realize that life is learning. Each day we learn and add that information to what we have already learned. I have been blessed in my life the ability to have a career doing something I love doing. One might think that is teaching, but in fact, that is not my career. My career is and always will be the food service field.

At an early age, I realized that I enjoyed cooking. Then I came to the realization that I did not just enjoy cooking — it was what made me the happiest in life. The career of someone who is a chef or in the food service field may not seem glamourous to those outside our business. One might say that someone doesn’t choose this field for the money, as do I. Someone who cooks for a living is someone who enjoys it and the satisfaction of making people happy through their cooking.

So when looking at my teaching philosophy, I realized that I teach because I love what I teach. To be a successful educator, someone must be passionate about what they do. This passion is the only way you can be successful as a teacher. If I had to sum up my philosophy in a sentence, it would be to show students the passion I have for food service field by lessons, lectures, demonstrations, and respect for our business.

I look back at all of the educators I have had in the past. Some of these people are teachers, friends, chefs, co-workers, and parents. They have taught me life and my passion, the food service field. I have taken many of the wonderful traits of those people to make me the person I am today. When I walk into a classroom, I am now passionate about teaching students all the learning I have done in my life.

My concept of teaching is that I am embracing all of my education in to that moment to give them the best knowledge possible. I talk TO them, not above them. I want students to see me as a role model and someone they can become. I find myself more times telling students stories of cooking or wine. I can list all of the facts about braising or stewing on the board or on a PowerPoint slide, but it seems students learn from me more by me talking to them, then lecturing to them. I feel that this is my teaching style. I talk to them about the material they need to learn, not lecture them on what they should know. I will talk about the pressure of working the line when I was a chef in Alaska. Being able to cook items without having to think about how to, or needing a recipe. That it was in that moment, that I realized that I had become a chef. I refer to the grueling textbook studying needed for my level 2 sommelier exam I needed to pass. I talk about still learning the new ways of cooking through the modernist cuisine program and techniques that are becoming popular.

Through all of these, I believe that I create a special bond with students that I am one of them. They see me as someone who is an equal, and that they can achieve what I have. I frequently use discussions with students. I will begin a topic and allow the students to continue the topic through the discussion. I won’t make them take notes on the matter, we will just talk. I believe at times, students can learn more by just talking and listening than writing down information from a PowerPoint.

During these discussions, is when I see if the students are retaining the information that we have talked about. I often will have quiz questions that can have more than one answer to see if students are comprehending and formulating the material I have been teaching. These questions require more in-depth answers than just “the sky is blue.” Students should take all of their education and experience and put the knowledge retained to formulate an educated response. An example would be when I ask, “What is the ratio of rice to water when making rice?” Most students will say 1:2. This is correct is using converted rice. However, there are many more types of rice that have different ratios, like arborio, which uses a ratio of 1:4. This allows them to anticipate more high level recognition questions on examples.

I will continue to grow with my education and experiences. As stated at the beginning, you learn every day. I still work in the industry to keep current and to be able to relate to the students better. I can bring real world to them every day. I will attend and speak at seminars to bring back critical information to the students.

Even though I teach, I am still part of the food service field. I am lucky enough to teach a subject that I love, and I love that I teach.

Areas of Expertise

  • Culinary Arts


  • American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE)
  • National Restaurant Association, Foodservice Management Professional
  • National Restaurant Association, ServSafe Alcohol Instructor
  • International Sommelier Guild, Level 1 and 2 Certification
  • Federation of Dining Room Professionals, Certified Associate Wine Steward
  • Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Wine & Spirits
  • Society of Wine Educators, Certified Specialist of Spirits